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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Chicago North Side reading group starts January 18th, 2009

Chicago North Side reading group starts January 18th, 2009

Meets Sundays at:

Loyola University Chicago
Loyola Information Commons
6525 N. Sheridan Rd. room 105

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Winter-Spring 2009

Introduction to revolutionary Marxism

January 18, 2009

The absence of the Left

"However difficult the task of grasping and confronting global capital might be, it is crucially important that a global internationalism be recovered and reformulated. . . . None of the massive demonstrations against the war featured oppositional progressive Iraqis who could provide a more nuanced and critical perspective on the Middle East, a telling political failure on the part of the Left." (Postone 2006)

"We have to note, with regret, that the Iraqi democratic forces have not received, in their difficult struggle, effective solidarity and support from international forces of the Left." (Iraqi CP 2006)

· Moishe Postone, "History and Helplessness: Mass Mobilization and Contemporary Forms of Anticapitalism" (2006)

· Fred Halliday, "Who is Responsible? [interview with Danny Postel in Chicago]" (2005)

Iraqi Communist Party, Letter to Fraternal and Friendly Parties About the Situation in Iraq and the Position of the Iraqi Communist Party (Jan. 2006)

January 25, 2009

What is the Left?

"The concept of the Left remains unclear to this day." (Kolakowski 1968)

· Leszek Kolakowski, "The Concept of the Left" (1968)
[in Carl Oglesby, ed., New Left Reader (1969), 144-158]

February 1, 2009

Marxism as theory and practice: the 1920s-30s "Old" Left

"In socialism, freedom is to become a reality. But because the present system is called 'free' and considered liberal, it is not terribly clear what this might mean. . . . Not only [the Little Man's] lack of freedom but that of [his betters] as well spells his doom. His interest lies in the Marxist clarification of the concept of freedom. . . .
The socialist order of society is not prevented by world history; it is historically possible. But it will not be realized by a logic that is immanent to history but by men trained in theory and determined to make things better. Otherwise, it will not be realized at all." (Horkheimer 1926-31)

· Max Horkheimer, selections from Dämmerung (Notes 1926-31)

· Theodor W. Adorno, part X. "Imaginative excesses" from "Messages in a Bottle" (orphaned from Minima Moralia 1944-47)

· Liza Featherstone, Doug Henwood, and Christian Parenti, " 'Action Will Be Taken': Left Anti-Intellectualism and its Discontents" (2002)

Esther Leslie, Introduction to the 1969 Adorno-Marcuse correspondence (1999)

Theodor W. Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, correspondence on the German New Left (1969)

February 8, 2009

· Richard Fraser, Two Lectures on the Black Question in America and Revolutionary Integrationism (1953)

· James Robertson and Shirley Stoute, "For Black Trotskyism" (1963)

· Bayard Rustin, "The Failure of Black Separatism" (1970)

February 15, 2009

· Juliet Mitchell, "Women: the Longest Revolution" (1966)
[revised version from Women's Estate (1971)]

· John D'Emilio, "Capitalism and Gay Identity" (1983)

February 22, 2009

· Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, selections from the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1847-48, Prefaces to various language editions, I. "Bourgeois and Proletarians," II. "Proletarians and Communists," and IV. "Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties" [PDF])
[in Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader, 469-491, and 499-500]

· Karl Marx, selections from the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 ("Estranged Labour," "Private Property and Labour," "Private Property and Communism," and "The Meaning of Human Requirements" [PDF])
[in Robert C. Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader, 70-101]

March 1, 2009

"The most important Marxian political manifesto remains to be written." (Nicolaus 1968)

Martin Nicolaus, "The Unknown Marx" (1968)
[also in Carl Oglesby, ed., The New Left Reader (1969), 84-110]

Moishe Postone, "Rethinking Marx (in a post-Marxist world)" (1995)

March 15, 2009

· Georg Lukács, "The Phenomenon of Reification" (Part I of "Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat," 1923) [PDF]
[in History and Class Consciousness, 83-110]

March 29, 2009

"Qui si convien lasciare ogni sospetto;
Ogni viltà convien che qui sia morta
[Here all mistrust must be abandoned;
And here must perish every craven thought]"
(Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia 1308-21 quoted by Marx 1859)

· Karl Korsch, Introduction to Marx's Critique of the Gotha Programme (1922)

· Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1875)
[also in Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader, 525-541]

Karl Marx, Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859)
[also in Robert Tucker, ed., Marx-Engels Reader, 3-6]

April 19th, 2009

Leon Trotsky: Trade Unions in the Epoch of Imperialist Decay

Christopher L Tomlins, The State and the Unions: Labor Relations, Law and the Organized Labor Movements in America 1880-1960, 282-329